AFL-CIO: Obama’s budget plan ‘bad policy’

The AFL-CIO is calling President Obama’s expected budget proposal “bad policy” in an email to supporters that asks them to sign a petition condemning the cuts to Social Security and other programs included in the measure.

{mosads}”It is unconscionable to ask seniors, people with disabilities and veterans who are barely making it to be squeezed even tighter at a time when corporations and the wealthiest 2% are not paying their fair share of taxes, despite soaring profits,” the email, from AFL-CIO director of policy Damon Silvers, reads.

He adds: “It’s bad policy to make cuts that will weaken our economic recovery.”

The nation’s largest coalition of unions has been a staunch opponent of “chained CPI,” a proposal to reduce Social Security expenditures by tying them to a more restrictive measure of inflation, and one that’s expected to be included in Obama’s budget when it’s unveiled next Wednesday.

Besides chained CPI, Obama would also reduce spending on Medicare through lower payments to healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies.

Those cuts, confirmed on Friday by the White House, drew the ire of a number of progressive groups, at least one of which promised to support primary challenges against Democrats who support Obama’s plan.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka slammed the expected budget in a statement on Friday, calling chained CPI an “awful” idea.

“We continued to reject chained CPI and means testing for Medicare as more ‘Washington speak’ that disguises awful ideas that harm working families.  The President should drop these misguided cuts in benefits and focus instead on building support in Congress for investing in jobs,” he said.

However, the White House has said that Obama will only agree to the cuts in exchange for tax increases on the wealthy and corporations — a proposal that was slammed by Republicans, who say tax increases are off the table after the January “fiscal cliff” deal that ended Bush-era tax cuts for high earners.


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